The Phillies' organization has the bankroll, they have the payroll flexibility and they want to compete ASAP. That is to say: they're players for the big guys.
That was put on display this offseason with the likes of Carlos Santana and more recently Jake Arrieta.
Phillies owner John Middleton said earlier in the week he had Arrieta's name circled for years as a potential free-agent target. Middleton also has big names circled for the future.
"That’s a conversation for another day," Middleton said in Clearwater. "But, trust me, they are circled."
A betting man would guess that Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper's name has some bright red sharpie all around it in Middleton's notebook.
Speaking of betting men, ESPN's Buster Olney would wager a hefty sum that Harper ends up in Philly or stays in D.C. Here's what Olney had to say on his "Sign Of The Times" podcast Tuesday when asked about Harper getting a $400 million deal next offseason.
"Just before I recorded this podcast, I bumped into Jake Arrieta's agent Scott Boras who is of course the agent for Bryce Harper. I didn't ask Scott this, but I guarantee you what he would say is, 'Buster, teams pay for talent.' And Bryce Harper is a transcendent talent. I still think he has a chance to push the deal to $400 million. I would bet the family farm that Harper ends up with the Phillies or back with the Washington Nationals."
So you're telling us there's a (legitimately decent) chance!?